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Nature Nights

Nature Nights 2015 banner

Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. starting June 11, 2015

Join us for free family fun Thursday evenings this summer. Nature Nights are fun explorations of plants, animals, and the ecology of Central Texas. Each evening features interactive presentations, hikes with experts in their fields, and nature crafting for kids of all ages. Visits during the day of each Nature Night are also free this summer. Nature Nights are supported through volunteer efforts by local organizations.

When we have an auditorium presentation, tickets will be given to the first 232 visitors. Tickets can be picked up as you go by the Admissions Kiosk to check in. It is first come, first served. Tickets will be taken at the Auditorium doors. Admittance into the Auditorium will not be permitted without a ticket.

The Cafe will be open until 8:00 pm serving their regular menu items.

Kids 12 and under receive a free gift in the Gift Store.

Please come early as the parking lot fills up quickly. If the lot is full, please park on the street. Please only park in designated parking spots.

2015 Summer Nature Nights Schedule

Thursday, June 11 - Plants - They can taste good and help us too!

Prickly pear cactus in bloom

What plants do I eat? How can a plant help us? Come learn these answers at our first Nature Nights of the summer. Take a hike in the gardens with experts to learn more about our native plant life. Commander Ben will be bringing his Invasive Hunter Academy to help teach kids of all ages about the invasive plant species around Central Texas. He might even know of an invasive plant that is edible! Austin Public Library will have a story time in the Little House. Go on a scavenger hunt around the gardens. Come on by!

Thursday, June 18 - Pollinators

Butterfly on a flower

Birds, bats, bees, butterflies and more! Come join us for an evening learning about pollinators. Did you know that bats are pollinators? What do they pollinate? Stop on by and find out. We will have a presentation by Bat Conservation International. Travis Audubon will be here to help us learn about hummingbirds. They help pollinate plants as do bees. The Austin Butterfly Forum will be here. What good is a pollinator? They are needed to keep us fed! The United States alone grows more than 100 crops that either need or benefit from pollinators, and the economic value of these native pollinators is estimated at $3 billion per year in the U.S.

Thursday, June 25 - Snakes

Close up of snake

Travis LaDuc, Ph.D., assistant curator of herpetology for The University of Texas at Austin Texas Natural Science Center will keep you on the edge of your seat as he talks about snakes. Do you know the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes? Just how do snakes smell and hear? Come and look at live snakes and find out the answers to your questions about snakes at our Snakes Nature Nights. Tim Cole with Austin Reptile Service will be on site with live snakes.

Thursday, July 9 - Springs, Streams and Ponds Ecology

Jacob's Well

What is the difference between a spring, stream and pond? Find out on July 9 at our Springs, Streams and Ponds Ecology Nature Nights. Does our water ever get to the ocean? To get answers join us. The Austin Public Library will be here and have the puppet show “Tortuga del Mar” at 7:00pm. The puppet show is recommended for ages 5 and up. We will have information about the endangered Houston toad. Texas Parks and Wildlife will be here with information about benthic macro invertebrates. Enjoy a backyard bass activity. Follow the water at the Wildflower Center as you go on a scavenger hunt.

Thursday, July 16 - Harnessing Fire

Austin, TX fire engine

Ever wondered why we use prescribed burns on our landscapes? Now is your chance to find out. Joining us for this special Nature Nights will be Austin Fire Department-Wildfire Division, Austin Water Utility, Balcones US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nature Conservancy of Texas, Texas Forest Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and University of Texas at Austin Fire Prevention Services. They will bring some of their equipment for all to see. We will also have fire extinguisher training, a fire safety house and radio practice. There will be habitat hikes that discuss prescribed burns, and how we use them at the Wildflower Center to heal the land and promote healthy landscapes. We would love to see kids wear their fire gear!

Thursday, July 23 - Birds of Prey

Great horned owl with baby

One of our most popular Nature Nights. Come listen to the experts from the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center. They will bring their raptor ambassadors as they discuss the issues concerning the future of birds of prey. Travis Audubon will be here with an activity. Be sure to find Tish Corvidae with along with her birds. The Girl Scouts and Kairos Academy will each have a fun activity.

Thanks to our sponsors!

  • Nature Nights sponsor KUT
  • Nature Nights sponsor HEB

Want to be a sponsor? Contact us

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